Sunset on water  
Reel Wolf News
from the Web Of Life Foundation 
and Wild Wolf Film
Coexist Co-Create Evolve
In This Issue
Bearing witness
A note from Elke
Super moon   

Thank you for your support for Our Wolves and Wildlife



Bison Hazing
Bison Haze 2014: Please note the newborns
This summer has been very interesting. Just when I thought that maybe my heart would get a little break from being in the midst of it all I went to document the annual bison haze. For those of you who are not familiar with it, we have only a few thousand wild bison left in the lower 48 states. All other bison are either crossed with beef, hence beefalo or selectively bred for docility behind fences. Our last wild plains bison live in Yellowstone National Park and migrate out of there in the spring in search of food and to reach their calving grounds to give birth. 
Horseback riders from different agencies, sometimes even using helicopters or ATVs are hazing them back into YNP because of "conflict" with livestock over grazing rights. But really, once more it is about the binary of wild versus domestic, useless versus useful animal not unlike it is with the wolf and cattle. And about animals doing what they want and not being controlled.
I witnessed hundreds of bison being driven back into the park in cowboy manner, some of them in the process of giving birth, some babies just hours old, still wet from their birth and some older animals limping and straggling behind, through dust and a major river. At one point one mother got separated from her calf while crossing the river and went back to find her. She was mad and made a dash for the horsemen/horsewomen and would not let go of her search until she found her baby. A perfect example of the intactness of these animals. 
I followed the hazers, wondering if the bison would now see me as a hazer as well. If I was indeed hazing the hazers, entrenched in our human quest for finding fault, finding a culprit, an easy answer. "Them bad guys" versus "us good guys", another binary. Yet, I found that it was the very same hazers that interested me the most in a non judgmental, curious and open way. "Who are these people really?" was the question I posed to myself. The bison seemed fairly ok in spite of their predicament, even calm and like I mentioned earlier with completely intact hearts and instincts. They kept on talking to each other softly, protecting the babies and waiting for each other, helping each other for the good of the herd. They waited for the mom who was giving birth and could  not keep up with the pace of the haze. Her herd mates fused to leave her behind and hence were left there with her and her baby until the next day so she could give birth in peace. 
It was the hazers who seemed most uncomfortable in their roles. Not all of them, but a significant percentage of them. They appeared disconnected from each other and in need of proving themselves, to stick out, be more than, better than in vivid and stark contrast to the bison who moved as One . "Are they only doing this because of job security?" was one of the questions I asked myself. It occurred to me that only some horsemen/horsewomen were fully invested in this hazing action, others seemed as equally touched by the mothers separated from their calves, by the constant dust, the peacefulness and calm of the animals as I was. "Maybe", I thought to myself, "I am really here to bear witness to the unraveling of something very old and deeply encrusted." I could not stop the haze anyways, these kinds of efforts would have made me a criminal in the eyes of the law and taken me out of my work. Bearing witness to the silent suffering of the animals was all I could do. As I was blessing the bison and telling them "hang in there, we are working on it" and "I love you and want you to stay wild" I became aware that I was bearing witness to the beginning of the end of hazing bison. And to the beginning of the end of binary thinking in my own heart.


Happy Summer!!!!

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A note from Elke

This summer has been great! I got to work and be with lots of wonderful human beings of all ages in the US, Germany, Slovenia and Britain. Of course, our wolves were the big topic and we did lots of film screenings, too. One of the highlights was doing wolf outreach in my niece's and nephew's elementary school in Germany. The whole school was there, all ears.

As she sat mesmerized in the front row, soaking in every single word I said, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, a first grade girl was bursting from the seams and raised her hand: "So what you are really doing is nursing the wolves back to health, right?" she asked me, beaming from ear to ear. "I want to do that, too." Tears welled up in my eyes and I nodded. I had never thought of it that way and it became very clear to me that we were nursing ourselves back to health along with the wolves. Thank you beautiful little human being for your wonderful words of wisdom ... 


Also: wonderful news from Germany! In spite of poaching and traffic deaths, our wolves are now residents in five different states, have formed at least 19 families and number about 100 or more in the last official wolf count! Way to go wolves!!! We love you and want you to stay here on this earth with us!!!

Photo: German wolf puppies DPA/WWF


 Public Outreach and film screenings of 

"Stories of Wolves"


Please contact us for volunteer opportunities:



Ongoing educational outreach in the schools and larger community

Workshops on how to be with wild animals 


Collaborative efforts for the thriving of our wildlife and wild places


Stay tuned for updates on the story of our threatened wild migratory bison video. 

We have also been working on a series of short videos called "Wolves and Humans" 


Here is our latest episode
 featuring Rok Cerne:


Wolves and humans, episode III
Wolves and humans, episode III


Photo: DPA/WWF
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of you who have contributed their time, talents, love, care, concern and joy to the Web Of Life. We could not have done anything without you! 
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